Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we subconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
--Marianne Williamson--

My employer has started a yoga class at lunchtime on Mondays. I've been to three sessions now, and am enjoying it far, far more than I expected (and my expectations were pretty high). I find I am way more relaxed and energized on Monday afternoons, and not at all subject to the usual post-lunch doldrums.

At the end of each class, after the 15 minutes we spend contemplating nirvana, or our navels (or trying not to fall asleep, as the case may be), the instructor reads us a short, inspirational poem. While I usually scoff at inspirational anythings1, today's poem, above, struck a chord2. I am frequently3 guilty of "shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure". I only excel at things no one else is interested in trying, because I don't want to make anyone else feel bad by being better than they are.

It's not a productive thing to do.

And, in a nice piece of serendipity, I received a gift today. A gift in recognition of the outstanding work I did on the project which consumed most of my time over the last 3 weeks. A project into which I threw myself wholeheartedly because it was something no one else in the company could do.

I need to find more of those, but I also need to let myself shine the rest of the time. Even if there's competition. Because I'm not helping anyone by hiding behind mediocrity.

1. Have you seen The Demotivators? My inner cynic loves this site.

2. No, I don't particularly believe in God, but it really doesn't change the sentiment of the poem if you leave him/her/it out of the equation.

3. As in more than once a day. Probably closer to once an hour, except when I'm sleeping.